by Nancy Nais
KUCHING, May 12: After being forced to shut doors for almost two months due to the nation-wide movement control order (MCO), businesses in the city were seen either waiting for customers or enforcing social distancing measures for customers who showed up.
Businesses in Sarawak were allowed to reopen today, on the state’s first day of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) after the MCO came into effect on March 18.
A check by DayakDaily on several eateries saw few people dining in, with operators adhering to set guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP) of a maximum of two persons per table and tables spaced about two metres apart.
While crowds were thin, business owners are optimistic that customers will slowly return.
A kolok mee vendor who only wished to be identified as Yen said she is glad she can resume selling after a ‘long break’.
“We started business at 9am. Although there are not many customers, unlike before the Covid-19 pandemic, it is alright for me.
“We remain cautious and make sure we follow the SOP guidelines for both customers and ourselves,” Yen said, adding that she needed to earn an income but at the same time, does not want to endanger any lives.
For coffee shop owner Lim, except for canned or bottled drinks, his business has maintained serving freshly prepared hot or cold drinks using takeaway containers.
A drive along major commercial areas in Tabuan Jaya and Satok saw many people lining up outside banks, textile shops, grocery stores and telecommunications shops.
Traffic was busy on the road as well, with lorries unloading stock.
A long queue with customers practising social distancing of one metre apart and using face masks was also spotted outside a bakery supply shop in Metro City.
Daryl Ong, of DreamMaster Corporation Sdn Bhd said the extended MCO was a good move to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“Business has been bad since the MCO was enforced. But I totally understand that everyone feels the same. All of my employees are still working with the company,” he revealed.
Ong also disclosed company management is strictly following set SOPs and making it compulsory for his factory and staff at Jalan Bako to undergo body temperature checks. The company has also prepared hand sanitisers in every section, and face masks for everyone.
He supported the implementation of the CMCO as it would help slowly revive the state and nation’s economy.
Meanwhile, also seen were eateries or grocery shops that remained closed, perhaps choosing to exercise caution for a few more days during the CMCO.
On May 5, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) agreed to implement the CMCO, which allows almost all businesses to resume, but on terms befitting the conditions in the state. — DayakDaily